Nothing better than learning from someone who actually
studied abroad! Let’s check, for instance, https://theblondeabroad.com/10-reasons-study-abroad/
First thing’s first! Why did I initially decide to Study
Abroad? To travel!
I had never been out of the country (with the exception of
Southern California’s neighboring “state” Mexico). Studying Abroad gave me the
opportunity to see the world, without compromising my education, all while I
was still in school.
To be perfectly honest I was really just looking for a
reason to travel, but couldn’t find a way to justify taking a break from school
to wander off somewhere in the world.
Solution: Study Abroad, see the world, get college credits!
I decided to go to Spain.
While there, I would attend my Advanced Spanish Language
class Monday-Friday and each weekend we had excursions organized to take us to
other cities in Spain. I ended up earning something like 9 college units in one
month. (In case you’re wondering, that’s more than half the units I would earn
The education not only came from my Intensive Spanish
Language Program, but through experiencing the culture.
3. Cultural Enrichment
The whole experience was so much more than I had bargained
for. Not only were the cultural excursions eye-opening, but I had the
opportunity to live with Spanish families.
During my one month program in Spain, I lived with a host
family for two weeks in Salamanca, Spain and then another host family for two
weeks in El Puerto de Santa Maria, Spain.
Living with a family from another culture truly opened my
eyes. The son of my host family in El Puerto was deaf. My Spanish was terrible
but ultimately it didn’t matter. We still found a way to communicate.
My own misconceptions melted away as I realized that
language didn’t create a barrier between cultures.
Before studying abroad I was still living at home and
attending a community college. I spent 18 YEARS in the same small town in
Southern California. I needed to experience something bigger than my own
I saved all my pennies and paid my own way for the Study
Abroad program. After living in Spain and then backpacking around Europe (at
times alone) I realized just how capable I truly was on my own.
5. Lifelong Friendships
You become incredibly close with the other students that you
are abroad with. Living with them, studying with them, partying with them and
ultimately sharing the entire experience with them. Regardless of your
differences, you come together and it makes everything so much sweeter.
6. The Ultimate Test
Is long-term travel right for you? I think the biggest
hurtle for some people to overcome is homesickness or even culture shock. While
a life of travel sounds appealing it isn’t for everyone!
I know that, even now, after all of my travels there can be
loneliness with travel. Studying abroad is the perfect way to get your first
taste for independent travel.
After my first trip abroad, I didn’t want to go home…
7. Diversity in Programs
I was working full time while in college so I couldn’t take
off for a full year, or even a semester, to Study Abroad. Instead, I was able
to take a summer off and enroll in an accelerated month long program in Spain.
After the program, I was able to spend another month
backpacking around Europe. Talk to your school’s Study Abroad Program to see
what they have to offer! And even if your University doesn’t offer the program
you want, do what I did and see what a Community College has to offer.
There really is a program for everyone.
8. Learn a New Language
If you are interested in learning a second language Studying
Abroad is a must. The best way to learn a language is to fully immerse yourself
in it! After a month in Spain, countless hours in a Spanish class, a
non-English speaking teacher and living with a Spanish speaking host family… I
had no choice but to learn the language!
I learned more in one month in Spain than I had in 4 years
of High School and College Spanish classes.
This is obviously debatable but, speaking from personal
experience, I firmly believe that by Studying Abroad you have a leg up on other
students who haven’t. Employers want to see that you are well rounded and have
the capacity to do more than just study hard and get good grades.
Plus, if you’re adding a second language to your skill-set
your “hire-ability” becomes leaps and bounds greater! In every interview I’ve
ever had the topic of the conversation always turns to my Study Abroad and
Spanish language experience.
10. Job Opportunities
Ultimately, Studying Abroad will not hurt your chances of
getting a job. Like the effect it has on your resume, the end result is that it
gives you a competitive advantage over other students who didn’t Study Abroad.
If you have any interest in working for a major corporation,
a global brand or maybe even becoming a travel writer *insert wink here*
cultural experience is essential. Your competition includes people from all over
the world, not just your community.